I realise with a bit of a start that Warming Up has been chugging along now for over 53 months, with at least some attempt at an entry every single day. That's a lot of months and a lot of entries. I am clearly insane.
Part-time, occasional blogger Emma Kennedy yesterday asked me why I felt the compunction to write something for every day and what I thought would happen if I let it slide for just one day. She clearly doesn't understand me and thus can never bear my children. It's because I am mentally ill, Emma. Don't you even get that yet?
Will I ever be able to stop? Will the sky fall in if I do, as I suspect it might?
My favourite thing about this exercise is the way it pervades my dreams as well as my real life. Often when something extraordinary happens inside my head during my sleeping hours (which it often does - this is the nature of dreams) I will think to myself, "Hey, this will make a great Warming Up".
Recent examples include a dream where I was back at my parents' house in Cheddar and went to the bathroom to find that there was a big bath in the centre of the room, full of water, with six or seven babies floating in it, completely underwater. I assumed they were all dead, and was appalled that my parents had allowed this to happen, but when I touched one, it moved and looked up at me. The babies were alive and living in the water, a bit like those people who can see the future in Minority Report. Now my immediate thought wasn't - "Wow, this is a bit weird," or "Hold on, this is impossible, I must be asleep." No, I thought, "Well good, this is something to write about in Warming Up, then."
Another one was a dream in which I was walking along a beach front trying to get somewhere important. I nipped down on to the sand as I thought it would be quicker, but as I did so a gigantic wave engulfed the beach and threatened to sweep me out to sea. Luckily some passersby grabbed me and managed to get me to shore. But I wasn't thinking "Oh God I a going to die" or "Hold on, there's no way this could happen, I am dreaming again, like last time." No, as I struggled in the water I just felt relieved that this episode was a shoo-in for Warming Up. I was actually pleased to have been hit by this mini-tsuanmi and was thinking about how funny all of you idiots would find the incident.
I think it's just a coincidence that both these examples involve water and I don't think you should read anything into the babies either, just because water and babies have been recent themes of this never ending waste of energy. What is interesting is how the writing of this blog seeps even into my sub-conscious, how managing to carry it on is for some reason incredibly important for me.
The difficulty has always been that very little interesting happens to me in the average day and I suppose on the least deep level, the dreaming about it and the relief at having something to talk about is just a manifestation of the anxiety that I might have nothing to write about. Though despite the general dullness of my life I have managed to find something to say every day for 53 months - God I am an idiot.
If I hadn't written about this strange dream phenomenon, for example, I suppose I would have mentioned the crazy woman at the Post Office who started shouting at the woman behind the counter over some issue involving a pin number. She was saying something along the lines of no-one knew her pin number, so that no-one else could have taken money from her account and that the Post Office must have made a mistake. "I am not lying," she bellowed in a crazy, angry voice, which to me at least looked suspicious. The Post Office worker remained calm and dignified against this barrage, finally making it clear that there was nothing she could do to help and walking away from the counter and the agitated, mad-eyed customer. The aggrieved woman left and everyone kept their eyes to the ground for fear of catching her eye and becoming the unwitting victim of her ire.
She got to the door, turned and shouted back towards the polite assistant who had been unable to help her, "I hope you stay in Hell!"
At this point I accidentally caught her eye and thought, "Oh Fuck, she's going to come for me now," but luckily she left the building.
I have to deal with some dicks in my job, but spare a thought for the poor staff at the Post Office, a place which is almost a forum for the mentally unstable, who are in danger of assault from people like these.
See, it's not as good as the bath full of babies who could breath underwater is it?